Page images

that primitive and regular form of government, which is so essential to her reception and stability among a race like our eastern fellow-subjects ! What forbids, I ask, that, when in one century, our little one is become a thousand, in a century more, that incipient desertion of the idol shrines, to which the learned Prelate so eloquently alluded, may have become total, and be succeeded by a resort of all ranks and ages to the altars of the Most High ; so that a parochial Clergy may prosecute the work which the missionary has begun, and “the gleaning grapes of Ephraim may be more " than the vintage of Abiezer ?”

There was one part of the Speech of my Right Reverend Friend, (if I may be allowed to call him so) which I cannot abstain, in gratitude, from noticing, though I confess, I allude to it with reluctance; I mean the obliging manner in which he has been pleased to speak of me.

There is no man who knows better than myself, and this, my Lord, is no time for dissembling, how little these praises are deserved. Yet even these praises, by God's grace, I would hope may not be useless to me. They may teach me what manner of man the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge desires as her agent and correspondent in India ; they may teach me what manner of man a Bishop of Calcutta ought to be, what manner of man Bishop Middleton was, and what manner of man, though at an humble distance, I must endeavour, by God's help, to become.

I can only conclude by expressing, so far as words can express, to your Grace, to the distinguished Prelates around you, and to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in general, my gratitude for the private and personal, as well as public kindness and countenance, with which you

have honoured me; my gratitude, and that of the Indian Church, for the splendid bounty of which you

have made me the dispenser; my gratitude for the patience and indulgence with which you have now heard me; my gratitude, above all, for those prayers which you have promised to offer up, on my behalf, to the throne of grace and mercy. Accept, in return, the blessing of a grateful heart ; accept the settled purpose of my mind, to devote what little talent I possess, to the great cause in which all our hearts are engaged, and for which it is not our duty only, but our illustrious privilege to labour. Accept the hope, which I would fain express, that I shall not altogether disappoint your expectations, but that I shall learn and labour in the furtherance of that fabric of Christian wisdom, of which the superstructure was so happily commenced by him, whose loss we deplore! I say the superstructure, not the foundation, for this latter praise the glorified spirit of my revered Predecessor would himself be the first to disclaim. As a wise master-builder, he built on that which he found; but “ other foundation can no man lay," nor did Bishop Middleton seek to lay any other than that, of which the first stone was laid in


Golgotha, and the building was complete when the Son of God took His seat of glory on the right hand of His Father.

I again, my Lord Archbishop, with much humility, request your blessing, and the prayers of the Society. It is, indeed, a high satisfaction for me to reflect, that I go forth as their agent, and the promoter of their pious designs in the East; and, if ever the time should arrive when I may be enabled to preach to the natives of India in their own language, I shall then aspire to the still higher distinction of being considered the Missionary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.









Calcutta, May 27, 1824 ; at Bombay, April 29, 1825; at Colombo,

September 1, 1825 ; and at Madras, March 10, 1826.

Σπουδασω δε και εκαστοτε εχειν υμας μετα την εμην εξοδον την τουτων

μνημην ποιεισθαι.–2 Peter i. 15.




The Right Reverend Author, after holding his visitation at Madras, delayed the publication of his charge till the completion of his extensive journey to the south should have enabled him to speak, from personal observation, of the actual state of the several missions in the diocese. In the course of his laborious visitation of the several provinces of Upper, Central, and Western India, and subsequently of the Island of Ceylon, his attention had been anxiously directed to these inquiries; and the last weeks of his invaluable life were devoted to the minute and careful survey of the more cultivated fields of missionary labour in the Peninsula. And though, amongst the many circumstances which render the untimely loss of such a man a source of universal sorrow to the Church of India, this may well have been overlooked; it is yet no slight subject of regret to the Christian world, that he whose mind was most capable of appreciating those important labours, whose opportunities were most favourable for observing them, and whose high and sacred dignity gave weight and authority to his testimony, should not have been spared to record more minutely the scenes of infant Christianity which he had himself witnessed, and to communicate to the hearts of others the impressions of delight and gratitude which they had left upon his own.

« PreviousContinue »